Alfie Bass

The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) - Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski is a fantastic director, who has gone through some real shit. Unfortunately this "shit" has overshadowed his career. He has lived in exile from the United States in France for the past forty years, after fleeing the country in 1978 following sexual assault charges. Polanski has directed some real winners, Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, The Pianist, and 2010's The Ghost Writer, just to name a few. This movie on the other hand is not amazing. It is bland and it drags on. The sound is wretched. The comedy is forced. The best acting comes from Polanski himself and his former wife Sharon Tate. Yes, the same Sharon Tate that was murdered by Charles "Tex" Watson in the famous Charles Manson murders. I told you, Polanski has gone through some shit. 

The Fearless Vampire Killers is a horror/comedy movie from 1967, that tells the story of a professor and his assistant (Polanski) who both study vampires. The two shack up in a small town in Transylvania and plan to conduct their experiments much to the dismay of the town. After a few vampire attacks and the abduction of Sarah, an innkeeper's daughter (Sharon Tate). The duo head to vampire Krolock's castle. When they get there they find Krolock and his son. Both vampires. The movie follows the usual "Dracula" storyline from here, the only difference is that hilarity is supposed to ensue. It doesn't.

The movie feels bad. The whole thing is dry and long and doesn't do much but make me long to watch Rosemary's Baby. Why I chose to watch this Polanski movie first, I wont understand. The ending is the only redeeming factor here. It is surprising and drawn out for the perfect amount of time. I wish that this movie could be just all ending and none of the filler. That is just wishful thinking. The cinematography and set design isn't bad, just the story and the acting. Even great directors find themselves making crap every now and then. I won't hold it against him.

The gore in the movie is pretty tame. Very little blood and not much suspense left me yawning and waiting for something, anything, cool to happen. If you are going to have a Halloween party then I would suggest skipping this one. Your going to put your party to sleep with it. Better luck tomorrow.

"Oy vey, have you got the wrong vampire?"

  • The original format of the film was to be spherical widescreen. However, at the early stages of production the format was changed to wider, anamorphic Panavision. This results in some of the spherical shots having to be re-framed and cropped in order to be as wide as Panavision.
  • Roman Polanski met Sharon Tate on this set. She had previously been on the The Beverly Hillbillies.
  • Filmed in Italy and England.